Saturday, May 12, 2012

Taqueria del Sol

Taqueria del Sol has been one of our favorite restaurants in Athens since it opened in 2009.  There are several Taqueria del Sol's in the Atlanta-area, and I had frequented the Decatur one in the past, so I was really excited when I heard one was opening up in Athens. The first year of its operation was truly its golden year; the tacos were consistently delicious and the specials were adventurous and delicious.  From 2009-2010, we probably ate there at least once a week.  However, as the years passed, I feel like the restaurant's quality has decreased slightly. The specials are now often monotonous and boring. The seafood plate is almost always a tilapia dish with a side of rice; whereas a few years ago they had fun dishes like pork belly or shrimp topped with hollandaise.  Furthermore, I can no longer say that their tacos are consistently great.  A few years ago, you never got a bad taco. Now, every other visit, I get a taco with dry meat, not enough sauce, or an overly fishy tasting tilapia. Consistency is a huge problem in Athens culinary scene. I recently thought about all the restaurants in Athens, and realized that there was only one restaurant where I have consistently gotten a great meal--Last Resort.  So Taqueria del Sol is not alone in this problem.

That all being said, we still love Taqueria del Sol.  Even if you get one bad taco, chances are, your other tacos are great. And even Taqueria del Sol's "bad" tacos are still better than any other Tex-Mex tacos in the area. Honestly, when I say "bad", it's only in comparison to what the restaurant is capable of.  

So what's good at Taqueria del Sol?  Their enchiladas are okay, but the magic is in their tacos. At just over 2 dollars a pop, you can get several to try, and you really cannot go wrong.  My husband's favorite is the Carnita Taco, and mine is the Fish Taco.  Other favorites include the Chicken Taco and the Memphis Taco. All tacos are served on small flour tortillas, and come with great sauces.  Without the sauces the tacos would be pretty boring, so pray that they don't skimp on the sauce. They have a different special taco each week, and some are great (The Bob: a shrimp taco with crawfish mayonnaise) and some are less appetizing (the Hamburger Taco, which is incredibly greasy--and not in a good way).  
A Chicken Taco, Fish Taco, and BLT Taco
The chips and cheese dip are out of this world.  Definitely order it!  
If you are craving a soup, the shrimp chowder is incredible. The restaurant also serves beer and the best margaritas in town.  Seriously, it's one heck of a margarita; probably the best I've had.  
The service is quick and efficient.  You order and pay before you can sit, and your food is usually served before you even get properly settled in your seat.  However, the line to order can get wicked long, so if you are impatient (like me), you may want to avoid the restaurant during prime eating times.  The ambiance is great; it is bright and cheerful.  Parking is a bit tricky; there are only two spots in front. It's bigger parking lot is behind the restaurant; only accessible from a small side street.

One of my favorite things about Taqueria del Sol is the price.  My husband and ordered 6 tacos, chips and cheese dip, a beer, and a margarita, and it all came to under $30.  For that price, who cares if one of your tacos may not be as good as it was last week?

Taqueria Del Sol on Urbanspoon

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